Instructor, EMS Academy

1. What is your name, title and years at FDNY? Where are you currently assigned, and what are your work-related responsibilities?

My name is Hemraj Persaud, and I am fondly known to my coworkers and friends as “Hemi.” I am a paramedic for the New York City Fire Department. I have been with the Department for over 12 years. In my career to date, I’ve served in Harlem, Midtown, Washington Heights and the Bureau of Training. In 2022, I was requested to return to the FDNY EMS Academy along with a few others to help revitalize the training and to teach the new paramedic students. I am certified to teach civilians when they join FDNY to become emergency medical technicians and as they progress through their careers to become paramedics.

2. What called you to a life of public service at FDNY?

I graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. FDNY EMS called me as soon as I graduated, and I have never looked back. The decision was a life-changing one, and I have been able to make positive impacts on the lives of many New Yorkers as a first responder. I figured if you have a medical background, you’re always going to be able to utilize this skill across other professional settings. I ended up discovering a passion for pre-hospital medicine, and that’s why I became a paramedic and decided to stay.

3. Can you share one of your most memorable moments while working at FDNY?

I think there are many memorable moments for EMTs and paramedics like us; unfortunately, on this job, there are more bad memories than good ones. I’ve really been trying to think about how to answer this question honestly without being very dark. Some of the truly memorable moments come from being a part of tight-knit team during these challenging events—they make the job easier. They make me look forward to coming work and have an enjoyable experience, even in the darkest times, especially during those tough calls like a pediatric cardiac arrest or someone cut in half by a train. Being a part of a team, and having the opportunity to lead, sets an example to the junior EMTs and paramedics.

4. What does We Are FDNY mean to you?

In the past 12 years being in EMS, I’ve literally met people from a vast range of cultures, different walks of life, nations around the globe—a mixture of unique and different people who have the same goal in mind to pretty much get the job done, to be prosperous together as a team.

5. What is your superpower (best quality or skill)?

My superpower is my ability to persevere while maintaining my authenticity during the extreme challenges as a New York City Fire Department paramedic.

6. How does your role support the public safety mission of the FDNY?

We help others in their time of need in our communities, which is a core motivator for many of us who are first responders. We thrive in these high-pressure situations, and it is very rewarding, especially when we know we’re helping others. Our work allows us to make somebody smile, and sometimes we hear the words, “Thank you.”

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